Traditional games and sports: cultivating the heritage

Slovenia hosted the 27th TAFISA World Congress in June 2022. The Slovenian Olympic Committee presented its SPACHE’s pilot programme, between discovery of traditional sports and visit of the Slovenian cultural heritage. An article by Gorazd Cvelbar, in charge of the follow-up of the SPACHE project in Slovenia.

The World Congress 2022 of TAFISA, the international association for sport for all, was held in the seaside resort of Portorož. This is not an insignificant place to launch the SPACHE pilot programme of the Slovenian National Olympic Committee (OKS-ZŠZ), since this resort is part of the old seaside town of Piran, which is full of cultural treasures. An opportunity to show how to combine a sporting event with a more cultural approach.
In developing its pilot programme, OKS-ZŠZ wanted to focus on the discovery of two traditional sports registered as part of the Slovenian intangible heritage, namely “Pandolo” and “Škuljanje”, as well as some modern sports: badminton, frisbee and tchoukball.
Besides, guided tours were organised for visitors around cultural attractions. If they were led by a tourist guide, the visitors were also accompanied by a sports expert, who animated physical exercises throughout the tour.
As another part of the pilot programme, the audience in Piran’s main Tartini Square was addressed by Miro Cerar (Slovenian gymnast and Olympian), Đenio Zadković (the mayor of Piran) and the first vice-president of OKS-ZŠZ; Janez Sodržnik, MSc.
One of the outcomes of this pilot programme that we found, based on the survey we conducted among the participants after the event, is that the latter were very satisfied with the experience and said that they would gladly participate in similar events again.
Among the people that were attracted by the pilot event, most of them were Congress’ attendants, locals but also random tourists. However, we estimate that the project, with a customised presentation, could be particularly suitable for team building that companies would organise for their employees.

“A national consultation to perpetuate the project”

Finally, in the future, we see the possibility of upgrading the project through an information platform where interested parties could register, and then publish and share programmes of their activities. The project and the idea of its possible implementation in Slovenia were presented to a wider professional public at a national consultation, organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport as part of the European Week of Sport 2022.

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Sport and Citizenship 55 : enhancing sport and physical activity by culture

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